understanding of climate simulation modeling

Assignment Questions:
1. Scientists use climate modeling to predict changes in climate that may occur in the future. How do scientists know the models are accurate? In other words, how do scientists validate climate models?
2. Based upon the general description of grid cells, types of climate data used, and how a climate model actually works, hypothesize what limitations or challenges may exist in a climate model. (Think in terms of data and climate processes.)
3. The chart to the right shows the atmospheric CO2 concentration trend that the simulation that was used to generate the data you are working with. Describe the trend shown here. What can you say about the trend used for this simulation? Based on what you have learned in this course, how realistic do you think this trend is?
Using the climate scenario image results below pick either question 4 or 5 to answer:
4. Look at the image results of modeling predictions for Snow and Ice coverage for the control run and IPCC scenario below. Next, look at the image results of Change in Snow and Ice coverage between the two scenarios. Answer the following:
a. In your mind, what is 100% snow coverage?
b. Compare the two maps; in what regions of the Earth do you see the greatest change in snow coverage?
c. How much will the snow coverage decrease by 2100 according to the model (approximate) ?
d. Find Greenland on the images (top, just left of center). Compare the snow and ice coverage for Greenland for the control period from 1958 to 1980 with the IPCC results. Does the simulation project an increase or a decrease in snow and ice coverage in Greenland? Provide a possible explanation for what you found (how the increase or decrease can be explained, in terms of snowfall rate, surface temps).

5. Compare the projected Surface Air temperature range for 2096 to 2100 with the Surface Air temperature range from the control 1958 to 1980.
a. What areas of both maps are the warmest? coolest?
b. Describe how the two maps are alike and different. In particular, focus on the polar and equatorial regions.
c. What regions show the greatest increase in temperature?
d. Do any regions show a decrease in temperature?
e. Why do you suppose the greatest temperature increases are over the continents rather than the oceans?

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